Topic: Stephen Smith

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Stephen Francis Smith (born 12 December 1955), is the Australian Minister for Defence. He has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian House of Representatives since March 1993, representing the Division of Perth, Western Australia.

Smith was born in Narrogin, Western Australia, and was educated at the University of Western Australia and the University of London, where he gained a master's degree in law. He was a solicitor, lecturer and tutor before entering politics. He was principal private secretary to the Western Australian Attorney-General, Joe Berinson 1983–87 and State Secretary of the Western Australian Labor Party 1987–90 From 1990 to 1993 he was an adviser to Paul Keating, first as Treasurer, then as Prime Minister. He was instrumental in securing caucus support for Keating to defeat Bob Hawke for the Labor Party leadership in 1990 and thereby become Prime Minister.

Smith was a member of the Opposition Shadow Ministry from March 1996 until the November 2007 elections, which were won by the Labor party. He was Shadow Minister for Trade 1996–97, for Resources and Energy 1997–98, for Communications 1998–2001, Health and Ageing 2001–03 and Immigration 2003–04. He was Shadow Minister for Industry, Infrastructure and Industrial Relations from October 2004 until December 2006, when he was appointed to the position of Shadow Minister for Education and Training.

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